Why Your Friends Would Rather Go To Target Than Buy From You: Part 3
In Part 1 and 2 I discussed some of the layers to the proverbial direct sales onion, but in the last installment of this series I want to discuss two things:
How to become an effective direct sales business owner, and why every woman needs at least one of these women in her life.
A servant heart
Having a servant heart means that you are taking on the attitude of a servant. What is a servant? One of the definitions listed for the word "servant" on Dictionary.com is " A person in service of another."
Sales of nearly any kind often gets a bad wrap because it doesn't take long to see the true motives of the sales person. Often that person is motivated by obtaining a certain dollar amount, recruiting individuals, etc. An effective small business owner or representative of a company is only effective when the customer feels comfortable, seen, and heard. Comfortable with the sales person, sure of the fact that the sales person has been observant of them and their needs and listens to what the customer has to say.
How many of you have been at a mall, just minding your own business, when all of a sudden you make eye contact with a man or woman who looks to be high on life and thrusts a hair straightener at you and says something like "Hey! Do you want me to try to straighten your hair?! It's the best product. Just wait till you try it!"
If you are like me, you try to scope that spot out first and then avoid it or make a point to avoid eye contact with the person representing that booth.
Some of my best customer experiences that I've ever had have been in a Bath and Body Works. I have often been assisted by women who aren't pushy, but ask two questions:
1) How are you?
2) How can I help you?
If I answer "I'm good, thank you!" they usually just respond with "Let me know if I can help you with anything!" and if I do seek their assistance in finding a certain fragrance or ask their opinion on a product, they are passionate and happy in their response, because they believe in the value of the product they represent, but this wasn't the first thing presented to the customer.
When a sales person makes an effort to show the customer that they are valued, but most of all that that they are most interested in the person, rather than the sale that may or may not come from that person, it changes everything completely for both parties. When the sales person views the transaction as an opportunity to serve, it completely redefines the whole experience.
Now let's take the Bath and Body Works sales lady example and go a bit deeper. Yes, that's right, she represents your direct sales lady that you would want to have in your life. But there are a few differences.
The first difference is that unlike the peppy sales lady at Bath and Body Works, you may be connected with the direct sales gal over social media. She may be in your news feed, or comment on pictures of your family. You may or may not be apart of her VIP group, hearing from her on a fairly regular basis.
But here is why you need her.
Direct sales ladies that do it right are ready and willing to know you as a person. They don't hound you for sales or to host a party, but they have invested enough time with you to know what you would like. I have customers that I know want an invite to nearly every online event that I hold for my business, but I have others that just enjoy seeing the style tips posts in my VIP group, or the encouraging content that I post on a regular basis. I have my ladies that absolutely love earrings, so I may tag one of them in a picture of a pair of earrings that I just know that they would love.
Direct sales ladies that do it right are willing to provide you a level of service that you will not find in the mall, Target, Amazon or anywhere else really. Why? Because you are not a bottom line to them, you are someone that they value. They don't view their transactions with you as dollar signs, they take time to invest in you, because that is what makes it worth it to them.
Many direct sales ladies represent a product that truly is amazing. While you could find a version of it a bit cheaper in the stores or online, there is usually at least 3 types of products that you can easily become loyal to. And the fact that the loyalty to the product equals loyalty to support the direct sales woman is a beautiful thing.
Some of my dearest friends are women who were first my customers. They have prayed for me, been there for me, and supported my business. I would have never met those women if I didn't have the platform that I do. Women want life giving connections, whether they admit to it or not. depending on the personality, this may not be as big of a need for some, but the need is still there. In a world where women aren't getting together for coffee as often, or having girls weekends because "who would watch the kids that long?", or rushing out of church on Sunday because there is so much that needs to be done at home... it is so easy to isolate ourselves in the chaos of life. Everyone is running in a million directions, but how many are actually running together?
It takes a great deal of patience to develop relationships of any kind. Some will run deeper than others, but all require a little bit of your time. And there are some women that just need to know that you are dependable and willing to help, no additional connection needed. Each are valuable for similar reasons.
Women who are not in direct sales, please don't place a big scarlet letter on all women who run a direct sales business. We aren't all bad, misguided and shallow, and not every company is ran in the same way. When you are tempted to be overly annoyed or flat out disconnect yourself from someone in direct sales, please take a moment to remember that the woman behind the message/interaction is a woman who is working towards a need that is affecting her in a very big way. There is always a reason behind a behavior, good and bad. Be honest with her. Tell her that you aren't interested at this time, only if you aren't interested at this time. Be direct with her in a loving manner. Do not lie to her in order to "make her go away", or commit to doing something that you don't want to do and won't put the work in needed to make it happen.
Women who are in direct sales, please check your motives. Remember that even though your product may be great and your needs even greater, women will not respond to aggression, pressure, and most definitely tricking them into thinking that you actually want to know how they are. They want to be seen, respected, listened to, and given a choice. We have a great opportunity to make a difference and be a great encouragement in their lives. We can be that little corner in their time spent online that is uplifting, not draining; what an incredible blessing!
I hate to use the trendy phrase "Be kind", but in this situation, it truly does apply, however, I would add the word "thoughtful" to the phrase. As women we are all running like a hamster in the wheel of life, so just taking the time to be intentionally kind and thoughtful goes such a very, very long way, whether she buys her lipstick from Target or not.